Day 156 – Reflections on Lock-Down

posted in: Stories | 1

After all the rain yesterday (Day 155) I am pleased to say that it did not rain today 🙂

I saw online that between 1st and 22nd August this year, the UK (as a whole) has had 72.7mm of rain, which is around four-fifths of the average rainfall for the month!  I must admit it always rains loads in August these days.  I think they should change the names of the seasons, April-June is Summer, August is the Rain-Season and September is Indian-Summer.  We always seem to get warm dry weather in September.

The first part of my day was not that eventful, just following my same routines.  Daily Morning Chi Gong, walk to Kate’s Park with Honey the Dog, dropping in to Mo Beans Coffee Shop and then did some work.

Mo Beans had a government leaflet for the Government Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.


I read that so far it’s been used 64 million times in the UK.  It’s only on Monday-Wednesday, so the final day of it is Monday.  Although, I have heard a whisper of it being extended for September too.  I noticed the government flyer doesn’t have the dates 3-31 August on it, so maybe?!

This afternoon, I went to The Melting Pot to do some work, like usual it was very quiet.  I don’t usually go to it in August as I am usually performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, but I’ve heard it is always quiet in August.

Whilst looking through my tapes today, I found the box for my first Spotify playlist ‘Beyond Mel’, which was featured in Music Corner yesterday (Day 155).  Here it is, all handwritten in pencil!  The lengths we went to in the old days when making playlists!

For the last, I can’t remember, years my friend Theo has come to Edinburgh in August for 3 nights to enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe.  You may remember reading about that on Day 142.  As Theo gets free accommodation in my flat, he pays for the shows and dinner out for the 3 evenings.

Obviously, this year he has not come to Edinburgh, but kindly offered to pay for me to go out for dinner using the governments Eat Out Scheme.  So I arranged to go out with Hannah tonight.

It was only yesterday that I started searching for restaurants and to my surprise they were all booked up.  I honestly thought it wouldn’t have been used by many people in Edinburgh.  After searching through our first choices and finding nothing was available, I just started looking at every restaurant in Edinburgh and then Leith.  Checking afterwards if they were registered for the scheme.

It’s been so long since I’ve been out for a meal in a restaurant, I didn’t realise you could look at availability online.  Nothing was available.  I was starting to think the next option was going to be a pub or cafe.

But then I found a Thai restaurant that said their online booking system was broken, so one had to book old school, over the telephone.  I phoned up yesterday evening and they had a space – result 🙂

It felt weird booking over the phone, without anything in writing, which you’d get from online.

So this evening Hannah and I went out for dinner at Time 4 Thai, just off Castle Street.

As soon as we arrived outside, I recognised I had performed at a 60th Birthday Party there about a year ago!  The memory of that particular gig came back.  The group had booked a private area in the restaurant and half way through my performance, the lights dimmed and from behind the bar a lady came out with a Birthday Cake with lots of candles.

I thought “Oh how special that is” – but then they walked by us and we heard “Happy Birthday” being sung by another group.  It wasn’t for us at all.

We all started laughing, all agreeing that we had all thought the same thing!

Anyway, Hannah and I had a lovely time and meal.

Theo had requested some photos of the food, decor, waiter/waitress and a review of the food and restaurant.



I also made a video, so Theo could feel like he was there 😉



Thanks Theo 🙂 x


On the way home there were lots of people out and about, Hannah said it felt like a “normal day”, she had come into town, been to The Melting Pot and the streets were pretty busy!

Back to staying at home for the rest of the week, as there is now no reason to come into town 😉


Face-Mask Corner

Today we have Jessica at The Melting Pot.

She said she bought her face-mask at Edinburgh Airport on her way home to Northern Ireland.


Thanks Jessica, a traditional face-mask 🙂


Readers Corner

Just one sharing today, from a newbie to Readers Corner 🙂



After appearing in ‘It Made Me Smile’ yesterday (Day 155), Héloïse messaged me saying:

“hello there 🙂 Glad I finally made it to your latest blog ;)”

Welcome to Readers Corner!  Glad you made it too, twice in two days now 😉



It Made Me Smile

Saw this on a Facebook post, it made me smile.  Here’s the original Facebook post so you can check out the comments –



If you see something that makes you smile or even laugh, send it over to me!


Music Corner

Hannah is back for another Spotify playlist.

Did you listen to her last playlist ‘AlfaMito’ on Day 154?  It’s great and well worth a listen 🙂

Today we have Hannah’s playlist BiloxiNightbus

Which “is a super smooth soul playlist perfect for chilling in the evenings or for setting the mood for whatever.



Thanks Hannah!  As always I am listening to it now 🙂

It is very chilled out, the perfect playlist to unwind to at the end of the day!


As I come to the end of the blog, I am feeling good!  Was lovely to go out for a meal, care of my surrogate Dad (Theo, not Boris)!  It reminded me of the days when Theo comes to visit, we always have so much fun and eat some great food!

The government eat out scheme must have given all the restaurants and pubs a massive boost, to open up, welcome customers and learn how to do everything following Covid Safety.  In our restaurant, we all had one table between us, which made it feel more like a special space, instead of being squashed in with people at every table.

We were only allowed 90 minutes at our table, well that is what they told me when booking.

I wonder what the rest of the week is like, if it is still busy or really quiet.  It certainly is interesting to see so many people eating out on the quietest days of the week.  Will the restaurants get quiet again after August?

Today the weather has been dry, but a feel of rain in the air.  The streets are still very wet from yesterday, but I didn’t get my feet wet.  It has been cool temperature, I was wearing a jacket for the first time (well yesterday too) for many months.

I remember writing on Day 7 (30th March) how magical it is when you can go out without a jacket knowing that you will be warm enough.  I guess we are now moving towards the opposite – until the Indian Summer next month 🙂

Thanks for your continuous reading of this blog!


Jim x

  1. Olivia Duggan

    Oh I’m hoping for an Indian summer too Jim…fingers crossed !!! We could all do with some September sunshine !! 🙂